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The Book of Regrets: A Braided Story

On this date, seventy-nine years ago, my parents were married. In the parlor of the biggest church in Dallas. It was the only available venue my father could find on short notice. It was very short notice. I don’t dwell in the Land of Regret. My mother did, only she called it guilt. “I don’t […]

Cranberry Chutney

The Story Mama kind of liked this cranberry sauce alternative. She couldn’t digest whole cranberry sauce—or at least imagined that she couldn’t, and she understandably was not going to chance it—so I always offered the canned cranberry jelly she had been eating on holidays for years. But yuck. Chutney cooks down to something between whole […]

Shopping: A Special Place in Heaven

October 2014 I hate to shop. Mama loves to shop. She’s a 98-year-old clothes horse. She bought “well-made” clothes from places like Frederick & Nelson (Seattle’s now defunct subsidiary of Chicago’s Marshall Field’s, also gone). F&N was Frango Mints, the basement Paul Bunyon Room with hamburgers and ice cream sodas, and the animated windows at […]

Generational Caregiving

I have just read a wonderful book titled Mother Lode – Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver by Gretchen Staebler and I want to tell you about it. I have been in her shoes with both my mom and dad, so I can relate to many of the things she went through. Although my parents did […]

Opening the Door to Family Conversation

When I wrote Mother Lode, I didn’t give much thought to it being a good read for anyone other than current and future caregivers. Now that it’s out in the world, I am hearing from two other groups of readers. Those for whom caregiving is in the rear view mirror say it has helped them […]

My Smiling Daughter

These years here with my mother have not brought the connection I dreamed of when I moved across the country. But today, as the sky lightens, I lie in bed realizing that my love for nature, and even for adventure, is born of my mother. The recognition is a beginning, and time is not up. […]

Three Times a Caregiver

From reader Vicki L. I was a caregiver for my sister for approximately three years before she passed away in 2000 at the age of 47 from complications of diabetes. My sister lived by herself up until her death, but she was legally blind and on kidney dialysis. My mother and I took turns taking […]

Alchemy of a Memoir, Pt. 4: Choosing a Cover

If it’s possible to identify a “hardest thing” about publishing a book—and there are many things that were harder than actually writing the book—I might choose picking the cover. It’s the first thing potential readers see, whether on a screen, in a bookstore, or in the library. It  conveys the genre, the writing style, the […]

The Fresh Market Scone Clone

The Story Back in North Carolina, I fell deeply in love with the blueberry scones sold at the sweet Fresh Market grocer. It accompanied my weekend blog writing at a nearby café. Until they stopped selling it. Another lover, lost. I was devastated. The “plop” scone that replaced it was terrible. I complained to management, […]